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Classroom Happenings

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Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 4:35 pm

Video Production

Video Production is a course that is required for all students in their first year of the CoSA Film program, but anyone can choose to take it as a practical arts elective. In this class, students create films - from storyboard to silver screen - using the industry-standard software Final Cut Pro. These aspiring filmmakers are currently working on their last narrative project of the year. Students have complete freedom in the storyline and style of their films, resulting in plenty of variety. Senior Cordell Newton is working on what he describes as a “High school comedy. A guy likes a girl, but it turns out that she speaks French. Due to a misinterpretation, he ruins his chances with her and gets his heart broken.” According to Video Production Teacher Patrick Galligan, one group of students is working with a local locksmith to create an “art heist” movie. Last winter, the students created a demo reel showcasing clips from their first semester of films. “We might add to that reel this semester, or we might choose another prompt for the final project - I’ll definitely get some input from the students,” said Galligan. Many Video Production students are planning to take the course again next year, but Galligan mentioned that there is always room for beginners and that no prior filmmaking experience is required to excel in Video Production.

Electronic Music

In Electronic Music, students are ending the year on a good note by beginning their final projects. “The kids are working on their final projects right now, which is basically a five song album,” said Electronic Music Teacher Matthew Heinecke. Working in small groups, students have been coming in at lunch and after school as well as using class time to record themselves. “The final project in electronic music involves live recording instruments to use with vocals in songs, which then will be placed into an album. All of our music is edited and finalized. It’s tons of fun to create and edit your own music,” said Sophomore Malia Barker. Students are covering popular current hits as well as original melodies that will eventually come together in their own albums of five songs. Using instruments including piano, drums, and guitar, some students are recording classic, traditional songs while others are coming up with their own beats that they are editing into rap songs. Freshman Austin Willson explained, “This album is completely ours, and the goal is to make our own tracks in one complete album.” With the ability to create original tunes, students have had a great time sharing tips, learning new techniques, and connecting with their peers in small groups, making the five song album a perfect final project.

Engineering

In Engineering, students are currently using Makey Makey, an invention kit designed specifically for the twenty-first century. With the aid of the Makey Makey, engineering students are able to transform and manipulate their favorite computer games. When an object is attached to a computer and the Makey Makey board, signals from the object can trick the computer into thinking of it as a mouse or remote control. Students can move the objects to control what happens on their computer screen. “All you have to do is plug the Makey Makey into your computer, and use the clips to attach physical objects so you have a controller interface,” said Engineering Teacher Eric Olsen. Some students have used objects as creative as bananas. “The goal is to take something that would not be an everyday controller and turn it into one,” said Junior Jerry Nutter, who turned his favorite game, Donkey Kong, into a game completely controlled by bananas and hammers. The Makey Makey kit has made class more fun for many students. “Class became much more interactive when we used the Makey Makey device,” said Freshman Collin Curtain. Since any object with electrical charge can be used as a controller, the options are virtually limitless and allow students to become their own inventors. “The best part is the ability to create any conductor of electricity into a controller,” said aspiring engineer and Freshman Wyatt Zolla. With so many possibilities, students are excited to report class each day knowing that they will certainly learn something new.

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